George Orwell

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).

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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.

Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.

I doubt whether classical education ever has been, or can be successfully carried out, without corporal punishment.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.

For a creative writer possession of the 'truth' is less important than emotional sincerity.

I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.

Four legs good two legs bad.

Serious sport is war minus the shooting.

The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel the most anarchical of all forms of literature.

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.

It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it, consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults in a child's eyes is that the child is usually looking upwards and few faces are at their best when seen from below.

There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more of less for progress the other side more or less for reaction.

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

To an ordinary human being love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.

No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues and politics itself is a mass of lies evasions folly hatred and schizophrenia.

Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.

The essential act of war is destruction not necessarily of human lives but of the products of human labor.

To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.

Whatever is funny is subversive every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

Every war when it comes or before it comes is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

The atom bombs are piling up in the factories the police are prowling through the cities the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers but the earth is still going round the sun.

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded.

The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.

Many people genuinely do not want to be saints and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.

One can love a child perhaps more deeply than one can love another adult but it is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return.

As I write highly civilized human beings are flying overhead trying to kill me.

As with the Christian religion the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.

He was an embittered atheist the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.

If you want a vision of the future imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

Big Brother is watching you.

All the war-propaganda all the screaming and lies and hatred comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives but on balance life is suffering and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

Power is not a means it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk he does not lay eggs he is too weak to pull the plough he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

It is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.

On the whole human beings want to be good but not too good and not quite all the time.

During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.

Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.

The intellectual is different from the ordinary man but only in certain sections of his personality and even then not all the time.

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

When it comes to the pinch human beings are heroic.

We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared for after all we have nothing to lose.

Prolonged indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.

The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth.

Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.

To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.

Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

Progress is not an illusion it happens but it is slow and invariably disappointing.

I'm fat but I'm thin inside... there's a thin man inside every fat man.

In times of universal deceit telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.

One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.

If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics - a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage - surely that proves that you are in the right?

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.

A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.

Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

Joyce is a poet and also an elephantine pedant.

Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Dickens is one of those authors who are well worth stealing.

Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.

If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted all else follows.

Good writing is like a windowpane.

No advance in wealth no softening of manners no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.

War is evil but it is often the lesser evil.

But if thought corrupts language language can also corrupt thought.

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.

A family with the wrong members in control, that perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.

Oceania was at war with Eurasia, therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.